Karnataka government constitutes four cabinet panels to monitor drought relief

Bengaluru: In an attempt to address the woes of people in drought-hit areas-100 taluks spread across 24 districts-the state government on Friday decided to constitute four cabinet sub-committees comprising senior ministers for each of the four revenue divisions to monitor implementation of relief measures, revenue minister R V Deshpande announced on Friday. 

He told the media after chairing a meeting with officers of his department that a senior officer of the rank of principal secretary or secretary would function as the coordinating officer for these cabinet sub-committees. These sub-committees would tour drought affected areas and hold meetings with deputy commissioners and other officers concerned about implementation of relief projects. 

He said owing to 49 per cent shortage in rainfall, the state could witness acute drought conditions. The government, however, has released Rs 220 crores for relief works and instructions issued to authorities concerned to address problems such as shortage of drinking water, fodder, employment generation and other basic amenities, he added. 

The minister said the state has recorded a crop loss of Rs 16,000 crores while under NDRF scheme, the government has sought Rs. 2441 crore relief assistance from the Union government. Sowing activities supposed to be held in 31.80 lakh hectare, due to shortfall of rain, was completed in a mere 20.76 lakh hectare.

“Drinking water has been supplied through tankers to 197 taluks covering 13 districts. To hear the grievances of farmers in drought affected taluks, I have instructed respective deputy commissioners of the district. The state government is fully prepared to take up relief works in drought affected taluks,” Mr. Deshpande added.  

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